Monday, July 18, 2011

Lima Bean Aliens

Am I the only one who finds these slightly creepy?

Just for fun, we decided to do a couple of easy experiments with dried Lima beans. All you need is a bag of Lima beans, some paper towels and a few empty jars.

First we soaked some beans in water overnight. Look at the difference in size once they have absorbed the water!

We opened a few of the pre-soaked seeds. You can see the seed coat pulled away and the plant embryo inside. It was interesting to think that this life was dormant inside the seed until it got a little bit of water.

(If school was "in session" at the moment, we might have done a notebooking page or a diagram or something but we're on break so we just talked about the parts of a seed. We may follow up with a more formal study later.)


Then we sprouted some in damp paper towels. This one has really cool roots!

The difference between pre-soaked seeds and dry seeds is remarkable. The seed below was sprouted dry, and I took the photo the same day as the creepy alien seeds above! So soaking them first really gives them a head start.


And here they are side-by-side today (day 5.) Looks like it's time to give the pre-soaked beans some soil!

Sometimes the simplest things turn out really cool!

Just linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom! Take a look at the great entries over there!

Science Sunday


6 comments:

The Adventurer said...

How fun. My kids and I did this along with our plant study:) we tried planting them to see if they would grow and produce beans, but had no luck:( Great science experiment:)

liese4 said...

I read this post the same night we were having lima beans for dinner, it creeped me out! (But dinner was tasty anyway)

Sparklee said...

Sorry, Liese, didn't mean to gross you out right before dinner.

Out of curiosity, how do you get your kids to eat Lima beans? :)

Anna Marie, we're going to put the sprouts in soil and hope for the best! Fortunately, my kids won't be disappointed if we don't get any beans (see above!)

Kirsty said...

Cool experiment, I like how you compared the soaked and dry seed, amazing how different in size they are. I've planted store bought broad bean seeds and they all grew perfect plants - most beans grow well in summer - I grew heaps of varieties last year. Just don't overwater early on as the seed can rot. Not creepy to me, life beginning.

Little Badgers Academy said...

Looks like so much fun! My kids would really enjoy it, and of course "aliens" are the best!

Ticia said...

Oh my goodness they do look like aliens, I had never noticed that until you said it.

Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!